Israel travels through the wilderness on the way to the land promised to Abraham. Their repeated rebellion is met by God’s justice and mercy.
A road-trip gone bad. Israel leaves Mt. Sinai only to rebel against God at every step. God responds with short-term severity and long-term generosity as He leads them into the promised land.
Into the wilderness
After centuries of living in foreign lands, the time comes for the Israelites to return to the land God had promised to Abraham. But soon after they set out for Canaan, Israel perpetually complains, sins, and even incites rebellion against Moses and Aaron in God's presence. Eleven days of travel in the wilderness become 40 years as a result of their unbelief, and only their children can enter the Promised Land. Tired and frustrated, Moses strikes a rock to resolve yet another complaint from the Israelites, but sadly disobeys God's instruction to speak to it. He too is prevented from entering the Promised Land.
Even in all this, God still displays His amazing faithfulness and patience. A few individuals, such as Joshua and Caleb, remain faithful and will lead Israel's next generation. Many scriptures use Israel's wilderness stories in the Book of Numbers as examples for us to believe God and trust Him with our lives.
The Journey Begins
God prepares the Israelites for traveling to the Promised Land, leading them as a cloud by day and fire at night over the Tent.
Promised Land Scouted
Israel reaches Canaan and sends out twelve spies. Ten are overwhelmed by the inhabitants, but Joshua and Caleb see the land's abundance and believe God.
Unbelief and Rebellion
Believing the spies' bad report, the Israelites rebel against Moses and Aaron and face the consequences. Only their children, Joshua, and Caleb inherit the Promised Land.
Moses Strikes the Rock
God tells Moses to speak to a rock for water. Frustrated with complaining Israelites, Moses strikes it and disobeys. He is prevented to enter The Promised Land.
Balak & Balaam
The King of Moab orders sorcerer Balaam to curse Israel, but he can only pronounce blessings instead and prophesies. Israel is spared from harm.
In last week’s blog, we explored Israel’s central sacrificial ritual, the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16). No matter what happened, Israel’s sins were covered and removed for yet another year. Now that Israel has a working tabernacle, the tribes are organized and prepared to...
Related Podcast Series
Torah Crash Course
3 Episodes •
This set of lectures was my effort to condense the first five foundational books of Jesus’s Bible because they introduce the Plot conflict and storyline that Jesus believed he was bringing to fulfillment.
Torah Crash Course Episode 1
This is the first of a three part series called the Torah Crash Course, exploring the book of Genesis. This important biblical book sets the basic plot line and core themes of the entire biblical storyline.
Torah Crash Course Episode 2
This is part two of a three part series called Torah Crash Course. This episode explores the important stories of the exodus and giving of the law at Mt. Sinai.
Torah Crash Course Episode 3
This is Part three of a three part series called the Torah Crash Course. If you haven’t listened to Parts 1 and 2, I highly recommend it. We finish by exploring the books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy and how they develop the storyline that Jesus believed he was bringing to fulfillment.